A non-serious guide to the 2019 Australian Senate ballot paper

Confused by the array of minor parties on the Senate Ballot Paper for the 2019 Australian Election? You're in the right place.
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An unofficial, offbeat, and irreverent guide to Australian politics
Figuring out how to vote in the Senate is a daunting task. There's all these strange parties you've never heard of, with odd names and no information about what they represent or what they stand for. To help you out, we've created a handy guide to all the strange parties on the ballot.
Disclaimer: This list makes no claim to be unbiased, even-handed, or even accurate. It is not associated with any party or political group (though the author does lean leftwards). It is definitely not endorsed by the Electoral Commission.

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ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA

VIC

A

Liberal

Australia's main centre-right party in government, led by Tony Abbott.... oh, actually Malcom Turnbull, but not really - hang on, Peter Dutton? Oh, actually Scott Morrison. Sorry about that. A broad church of dominant conservatives and small l-liberals who don't get listened to any more.
Political leaning: Centre-Right
Likes: Changing leaders every 2 years after promising not to. Giving tax concessions to the wealthy. Stopping the boats.
Dislikes: Climate change science. Leadership stability. Malcolm Turnbull.
"[Menzies] talked about the importance of freedoms. Of faith. Of religion. Of speech. Of association. That's a great place to start a party, I reckon, and it's a great place to continue to run a party from.
- Scott Morrison, Albury, Sept 2018.
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A

The Nationals

Do you miss the agri-economics and sexism of politics from yesteryear? This is the party for you. The spleen of the Coalition - they need it to live, but nobody really knows or cares what it does. Their policy documents actually include a guide to dealing with sexual harrasment complaints within the Party. There's even a flowchart.
Political leaning: Right
Likes: Screwing the murray darling basin, screwing people who aren't their wives, coal seam gas
Dislikes: Laborlaborlaborlaborlaborlabor
"Laborlaborlaborlaborlaborlaborlabor party, the Queensland Labor government, Laborlaborlaborlabor..."
- Barnaby Joyce actually said this in an ABC radio interview
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B

Republican Party of Australia

Wants to have Australia secede from the monarchy. Also throws in a mix of right and left-wing policies, mostly right-wing though. Not to be confused with the US Republican party.
Political leaning: Right
Likes: True democracy, bill of rights
Dislikes: Monarchy, immigrants, dual citizenship
"We do not have to wait until the Monarch dies to get our Republic!"
- RPA website
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C

Socialist Equality Party

The fourth international, also known as people who are still angry that Leon Trotsky was assassinated 80 years on. Apparently they think that Socialism doesn't imply equality enough, hence the double barrelled name. Most of the website is currently devoted to news about their hero Julian Assange. They're also anti "identity politics" and the #metoo movement, so they're all for equality except for women and people who aren't white, apparently.
Political leaning: Far Left
Likes: Trotsky, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning
Dislikes: Ice axes. Show trials. Stalinists. US Imperialism, the Ecuadorian Embassy. Being called "brocialists".
"To a greater extent than ever before, this election will be characterised by lies and diversions"
- That's a high bar, SEP website
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D

The Small Business Party

A party based around, you guessed it, small business. Their leader was originally vying for Mayor of Sydney City Council. So I guess if you can't beat em' aim higher?
Political leaning: upwards
Likes: Small business
Dislikes: Infrastructure projects interfering with small business
"The cynic in me will say that in every election, whether local, state or federal, every party claims to have some allegiance to small business, but that is only around for that brief election cycle, but after that they forget all about the small business owner"
- Angela Vithoulkas
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E

Christian Democratic Party

Fred Nile's party of wowsers, homophobes and other angry bigots. Fred Nile is 'president for life'.
Political leaning: Conservative Christianity
Likes: Namedropping God
Dislikes: Vices of any kind. The LGBTI Community.
""Homiage" and "lesiage" could be alternative terms available to those homosexuals who want to define their relationships."
- Fred Nile
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F

United Australia Party

Clive Palmer's attempt to make Australia great again through sheer weight of yellow billboards and Trump-style populism. Mostly a grab bag of right wing big business tax cuts and infrastructure spending. In other words stuff that will make Clive Palmer money.
Political leaning: Right wing Trumpism
Likes: Ruining the Australian Open coverage with $50 million dollars in ads, unsolicited text messages, also dinosaur golf courses
Dislikes: Paying his nickel workers their entitlements, paying royalties to Twisted Sister for plagiarising their song
"It's not my fault that I've made a lot of money."
- Then whose fault is it, Clive Palmer?
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G

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers

Does what it says on the tin. If it moves they want to shoot it, if it doesn't they want to 4WD on it. Pretend not to support gun deregulation, but during the 2011-15 NSW parliament they argued in favour of shooting in national parks.
Political leaning: Rural Right
Likes: Cows with guns
Dislikes: The National party. Water mismanagement. Hey, you want to fish or farm, you need water.
"For the past eight years, we've seen government spending skewed heavily towards Sydney. It's time the bush got its fair share,"
- SFF Leader Robert Borsak
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H

Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians!

The Online Direct Democracy party realised their name was too boring (ironically not ODD enough), so decided to lie instead. Their name actually has nothing to do with their party position, as they don't have a party position on anything, instead promising to allow all citizens to vote on all legislation. Obviously didn't learn from Jeb Bush's failed 2016 presidential bid that exclamation marks don't work.
Political leaning: Direct Democracy
Likes: Exclamation marks!
Dislikes: The actual democratic process!
"The intent...was to take advantage of the six words allowed by the AEC"
- Press release
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I

Derryn Hinch's Justice Party

Started by the Human Headline, Derryn Hinch. Lots of "tough on crime" stuff, like longer sentences for violent crimes and harsher bail arrangments. Wants a national register of those convicted of sex crimes, publicly available with photos but no details of the circumstances. Isn't very concerned about vigilantism.
Political leaning: Centre to Centre-Right
Likes: Shaking hands with Fraser Anning and then regretting it later.
Dislikes: Paedophiles. George Pell
"If my going to jail draws attention to the judges and magistrates, out of touch with community expectations and your safety, then every one of my 50 days behind bars will be worth it. And so I'll go to jail."
- Derryn Hinch
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J

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

Want legal marijuana. Registered in Nimbin because of course they are. Apparently their website lists a land line phone link to the "HEMP embassy" which manages to be both a hilarious pun and an ever so slightly offensive appropriation of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
Political leaning: Far left
Likes: Legalising Hemp, and using it for literally everything. Nimbin. The munchies.
Dislikes: Da police. Joining an existing political party that shares their values.
"HEMP has a plan to integrate the whole plant into our everyday lives for medicine, food security, the environment and social harmony."
- HEMP party website
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K

Citizens Electoral Council

Completely, utterly, hilariously bonkers. Conspiracy theorists of the highest order: They believe that the Queen controls the drug trade, that we should use DDT as a pesticide again, and that rock music was created by the British secret service. Anti-semitic. Also an actual cult.
Political leaning: Right wing conspiracy
Likes: Lyndon LaRouche, being unhinged
Dislikes: CONSPIRACIES
"LaRouche himself has long since become the walking punchline to a very strange joke. He is known for some of the most baroque conspiracy theories ever put into circulation. Members of the LYM now deny that he ever accused the Queen of England of drug trafficking - though in fact, he did exactly that throughout the 1980s."
- Book critic and columnist Scott McLemee
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L

Australian Democrats

Wait... they're not dead?

Risen from the grave after being deregistered because nobody cared about them. Otherwise fairly boring policies with a bit of a rural focus, though considering the rest of the field 'boring' is pretty high praise.
Political leaning: Centre
Likes: Punching their way out of the political grave
Dislikes: Bastards (that aren't honest)
"It's official... we're registered!"
- Australian Democrats Website
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M

Independents for Climate Action Now (ICAN)

Led by Father Rod Bower of Anglican Gosford Church fame (the guy that puts left wing political slogans on his church sign). They are a variety of independent candidates of various ideologies who all want action on climate change, but felt they can't vote green due to other Greens policies (presumably on religious matters?). On issues other than climate change their candidates are free to vote how they want - Rod Bower himself is definitely left of centre. One of the more catchy acronyms going around.
Political leaning: Various, but mainly left wing
Likes: A zero emissions climate change future.
Dislikes: The far-right heckling dickheads who interrupt his church services.
"We will continue to proclaim the gospel of love no matter what #SydneyAnglicans do."
- Rod Bower on Twitter
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N

Liberal Democrats

David Leyonjhelm's party, but he's not running this time, because he quit to run in the NSW state upper house (where he lost). Generally run by people who hate any government intervention in the economy or society and can probably explain what bitcoin is.
Political leaning: Right wing libertarian
Likes: Declaring victory prematurely.
Dislikes: Government intervention and regulations.
"It is evident that I have been elected".
- David Leyonjhelm, prematurely declaring victory in the NSW state upper house.
Narrator: He wasn't.
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O

Secular Party of Australia

Describes itself as a secular humanist party that aims to defend the separation of chrch and state. Translation: they hate the influence of religion in Australian politics and want to end "religious privileges", which probably means the tax-exempt status of churches. Website features a hilariously (and badly) drawn church and state being ripped apart.
Political leaning: Centre-left liberalism
Likes: Religious "privileges". Badly drawn diagrams.
Dislikes: Mixing church and state
"Our policies apply equally to all religion. However, some religions do pose more of a threat to the secular ideal than others. Ideologically, Islam is anti-secular, as it perceives the state and all else to be subservient to the religion."
- President John Perkins
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P

Labour DLP

DLP Labour is all about "families"- and you can probably predict what comes next. It generally supports workers rights from a centrist position, but runs a conservative faith-based social agenda. Is anti-abortion and remains opposed to same-sex marriage. Basically the old groupers, but with no obvious union links today.
Political leaning: Centrist on economics, right wing on social policy
Likes: BA Santamaria, pretending to be a workers party, "family values".
Dislikes: Abortion, LGBTIQ community.
"A basic element of our philosophy is that the interests of Australians may be best served by preserving, protecting and building on the family. "
- DLP Website
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Q

One Nation

Australia's original far-right, race baiting, anti-immigration, flat tax, redneck party. Supports voluntary euthanasia for some inexplicable reason. Got busted recently for trying to solicit donations from the US National Rifle Association and the Koch Brothers.
Political leaning: Far-right
Likes: Please explain.
Dislikes: I don't like it.
"I haven't flip flopped. I said no originally, then I said yes, then I said no, and I've stuck to it."
- Pauline Hanson
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R

Pirate Party

The pARRRrty that loves piracy, mainly of the internet vARRRiety. Campaigns a lot on open-access, intARRRnet freedom, pARRRivacy, digital rights, freedom of infARRRmation and pARRRticipatory democracy.
Political leaning: Left-LibertARRRian
Likes: Piracy, Open access. Boats (we presume).
Dislikes: Internet censARRRship. When people read their policy platform in a pirate voice. Or maybe they do, we don't know.
"Our movement occupies a unique place in politics, providing leadership in the issues of today which you won't find in other political parties - digital activism, human rights, economic responsibility and transparency of government."
- Pirate Party website
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S

Flux

A party that promises to vote exactly how you tell them to, so they don't need to come up with any policies themselves. Ran a bunch of fake candidates in a WA State Election, which goes to show how much they like that whole democracy thing.
Political leaning: Direct Democracy
Likes: Issues Based Direct Democracy
Dislikes: Representative democracy, except when they try to win seats in a representative democracy without any irony whatsoever.
"Elected Flux MPs and Senators give up their autonomy and use their votes in line with the outcomes produced by the Flux ecosystem; an ecosystem comprised of ordinary Aussies like you."
- Flux Website
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T

Australian Workers Party

Trade union officials who have started their own microparty in protest at a "move towards neoliberalism by the ALP". Policies are basically left-faction ALP, with a focus on manufacturing industry jobs. Want a universal jobs guarantee and a 32 hour working week, a republic, and to nationalise the power grid.
Political leaning: Left
Likes: Trade unions, what the ALP used to be
Dislikes: What the ALP is now, Neoliberalism, the Queen
"It's ludicrous to think that self driving cars and voice activated mobile phones are going to?eliminate all human endeavour"
- Phew, I was worried about that (AWP Website)
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U

Animal Justice Party

Justice for animals! Don't like basically anything that hurts animals whether it's evidence-based or not. All candidates must be vegan to join the party.
Political leaning: Left
Likes: Cute fluffy animals
Dislikes: Factory farming, scientific experimentation, kangaroo culls
"AJP is supported by a cohort of human-hating, urban-based, largely idle-rich and well-off middle class types, that have no empathy for their fellow human beings"
- That's big talk from a gun nut, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers' spokesgun Robert Borsak.
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V

The Greens (VIC)

Australia's largest environmentalist party, known for caring about climate change even when there isn't an election on. The party that wants to build more affordable housing, except when it's built right next door. The party that hates factional politics, except when Lee Rhiannon and Jeremy Buckhimgham do it. The party that... well you get the idea.
Political leaning: Left
Likes: An actual credible climate change policy. A compassionate refugee policy that meets our international obligations. Factional infighting in NSW.
Dislikes: Adani. Corporate political donations. The old, big parties. Climate change turning the Earth into an apocalyptic hellscape.
"It's all about the sort of leadership that people are getting at the moment. They're fed up with this sorta day-to-day bickering, not putting the national interest ahead of these narrow partisan interests."
- Pot calling the kettle black, Richard Di Natale
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W

Rise Up Australia

Racist far-right nasties with the added bonus of being completely bonkers. Led by Danny Nalliah, a young earth creationist convinced that Jesus met him personally (from 3.40am to 6.00am, Jesus apparently being a very early riser).
Political leaning: Far-right
Likes: Fundamentalism
Dislikes: Islam, gays, the song "Rise up" by Andrea Day, being banned by Facebook for hate speech
"His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb."
- Danny Nalliah, on how the Black Saturday bushfires were due to the decriminalisation of abortion
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X

Australian Labor Party

The current opposition led by Bill Shorten, the most boring, square daggy dad seen in Australia since the 2014 Toyota Camry ad. Promising to end tax loopholes, save medicare, and stop the revolving door of leadership changes (even though Bill Shorten started it).
Political leaning: Centre-left
Likes: Medicare, ending tax loopholes, climate change action (but only a little bit). Zingers. The song "hip to be square", by Huey Lewis and the News.
Dislikes: Being asked about the Adani coal mine, refugees, or carbon pricing.
"ZINGER"
- Bill Shorten
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Y

#Sustainable Australia

A rare bird, an anti-immigration party with a bunch of standard left-wing policies (more public transport, reduce factory farming, less privatisation, carbon pricing). Centrist, or confused? You be the judge.
Political leaning: Center
Likes: Hashtags, people thinking they're about environmental sustainability when they aren't.
Dislikes: Immigration, people thinking that they're racist
"A sustainable population is achievable by diversifying Australia's economy away from an over-reliance on housing construction, which requires ever-more people. "
- Sustainable Australia president William Bourke
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Z

Group Z - VIC

Sunny Chandra is an IT businessman of Indian heritage. Most of the party's policies relate to relaxing rules around long term, students, tourist and work visas, which would make it easier for foreign migrants and visitors to work. He supports action on climate change.
Political leaning: Centre-left
Likes: Climate change, Tom and Jerry (who are at the top of his 'Core beliefs')
Dislikes: Our current immigration laws
"Loyalty to the rule of Australian Law comes first and the politics of Australia must remain above personal religious and cultural beliefs."
- Sunny4Senate website
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AA

Fraser Anning's Conservative Nationals

Racist, bigoted, Nazi-sympathising bastards who deserve nothing but contempt. And eggs. When Pauline Hanson calls you out for being a Nazi you know it's pretty dire.
Political leaning: Far right fascists
Likes: Fascist thuggery, white supremacy, racism, victim blaming, etc.
Dislikes: Eggs and the heroes who throw them.
"Straight from Goebbels' handbook from Nazi Germany"
- Pauline Hanson
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AB

Australian Conservatives

Cory Bernadi's crusade machine. Conservatives with your standard far-right-wing policies. Blah blah no renewables blah blah pull out from the refugee convention blah less foreign aid blah. Amusingly, advocate for both "children understanding the values of Western culture" and "the removal of all political indoctrination from the curriculum".
Political leaning: Far right
Likes: Western Culture, Christianity, not much else
Dislikes: Holiday eggs, abortions, same sex marriage (too late)
The party issued a policy release in April, 2017 urging party members to petition major chocolate companies to oppose Easter Eggs being renamed Holiday Eggs. The release caused confusion on the grounds that there was no evidence any major chocolate company had ever done that in Australia, or that anyone had ever asked them to.
- Wikipedia
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AC

Great Australian

Former One Nation Senator (sorry, 'senator-in-exile') Rodney Culleton's new party. Completely unhinged. They're anti-vaccinations for a start, then try to claim that income tax is voluntary and go downhill from there. Their website used to link to a number of conspiracy theory pages - including how 9/11 and Paris 2015 were false flag operations, how Port Arthur was staged to take away our guns, how local local government is unconstitutional, and how MH17 was payback for Vladamir Putin trying to bypass the US Dollar. Check your brain at the door folks.
Political leaning: Libertarian Conspiracy nutcases
Likes: Conspiracy theories
Dislikes: Any semblance of common sense
"Just because I turn around and say that I took a key, it's no different to taking a scone off someone's plate."
- Rod Cullerton, claiming he wasn't guilty of theft in a WA court case
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AD

Health Australia Party

Misleadingly named 'natural medicine' believers. Not technically anti-vaccination but pretty close. Also wants Swiss-style national military service for some reason? Maybe being shot at is good for your karmic balance.
Political leaning: Unknown
Likes: Giving other people's kids the measles, bees
Dislikes: Fluoride, the AMA
"Do you know what they call 'alternative medicine' that's been proved to work?
Medicine."
- Tim Minchin
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AE

Yellow Vest Australia

An anti-islam, far right cesspit of a party who are opportunistically riding the coattails of the gilets jaunes in France despite having almost nothing in common. Formerly known as the Australian Liberty Alliance.
Political leaning: Far-right
Likes: Donald Trump, Geert Wilders, stealing the name recognition of an entirely different movement because you didn't get traction before
Dislikes: Islam, mosques, Rupert Murdoch (who decided that they were too extremist to put ads in his paper. Which is saying something.)
"Being opposed to a mosque does not make you a racist, mosques are not a race"
- Yes it does, Australian Liberty Alliance candidate Kirralie Smith.
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